I decided that I should direct you to an article in today’s Idaho Statesman in which Sara Weaver reports that she has forgiven federal agents who shot and killed her mother and brother on Ruby Ridge. I was lucky enough to represent Randy Weaver with Gerry Spence and Garry Gilman when he was charged with the murder of Deputy US Marshal Bill Degan. We also represented Sara and her sisters Rachel and Elisheba in the civil suit that is mentioned in the article.
The Weaver kids had indeed been through hell. They were just little kids at the time, and their entire lives collapsed around them that morning on the mountain. Then they were taken away to live with an aunt in Iowa while their dad sat in a jail in Idaho awaiting trial on charges that he had murdered and conspired and illegally sold sawed-off shotguns. They had been raised to believe that the government had been taken over by Zionists and that they could not trust anyone in authority. I often wondered if they trusted any of us.
Sara has her own daughter now. Rachel lives in Kalispell and Elisheba – who was held in her dying mother’s arms – is in college. Time really does fly. Spence is over eighty years old and still working as a lawyer and writer and teacher at his Trial Lawyer’s College. And the globe just keeps on spinning. I am here, still selling reasonable doubt for a reasonable price.
I rode my bicycle past Ruby Ridge in August while participating in Ride Idaho. I stopped at the Naples General Store – where Gerry, Gary and I had stopped and bought a Coke on our way up the Mountain for the first time. Up there we found the cabin and the shed out back where federal agents had shot Randy. We found the trail where Sammy Weaver had been shot in the back and his dog had been killed and then run over by a tank.
And so little of it has changed. The rugged mountains and wild weather have collapsed the cabin the Government called a "compound." It could withstand the assault by federal agents but not the snow.
And that place today is still strangely alluring. Lives were lost and lives were changed forever on that mountain.
Sarah has forgiven most of those involved. I am thankful for that and glad to hear that they have also moved on. I know that Randy was proud of them then and I am sure he is proud of them today.